Rockingham NC Overtime Suit Settled – $167k

In March 2009, ten Rockingham, North Carolina firefighters, all members of IAFF Local 4702, filed suit against the city of Rockingham alleging overtime pay issues and violations of Fair Standards Labor Act. The same ten firefighters were responsible for creating Local 4702 on October 1, 2008, and have since claimed to have been subjected to retaliatory discipline by the city administration.

Among other things, the case involved the right of off duty personnel to be compensated for being on-call, and subject to a strict immediate return to duty policy if needed for an alarm. After the suit was filed, it was amended to include additional allegations of retaliation.

Both sides have confirmed that the case has been settled for $167,000, with the firefighters receiving $93,000 in compensation and $74,000 in attorneys fees. The settlement cost the city roughly $30,000 out-of-pocket, with their insurance carrier paying the remainder.

Under the terms of the settlement agreement, the city admitted no wrongdoing or violations of the FSLA, and said the decision to settle was made for financial reasons.

More on the story.

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 40 years of fire service experience and 30 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.
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